1. 39 percent: that’s how often Punxsutawney Phil’s Groundhog Day forecast is accurate, according to Stormfax. Yikes!
2. Phil’s full name is quite the mouthful: “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.” The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper gave him that long moniker in 1886.
3. Groundhogs normally live for 6 to 8 years. But according to legend, Punxsutawney Phil drinks of a magical elixir that extends his life by 7 years every summer during the Annual Groundhog Picnic in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
4. Who are those guys in top hats crowding around Phil? It’s his posse, a group known in Punxsutawney as the “Inner Circle.” According to Groundhog.org, “They’re a group of local dignitaries responsible for carrying on the tradition of Groundhog Day every year.” The president of this exclusive club is the one who determines whether or not Phil has seen his shadow.
5. Phil’s got famous friends: he met President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1995.
6. During Prohibition, “Phil” allegedly “threatened” to doom his community to 60 consecutive weeks of winter if he was not allowed to drink alcohol.